The folks at Redmond have long pointed to the user interface of the next generation Windows release as one of its major selling points. Now, it appears Microsoft has chosen an official name for Longhorn with just that in mind. Enter: Windows Vista.
Word of the new name leaked out late Thursday after Microsoft tipped off journalists and enthusiast sites of an impending Longhorn-related announcement due Friday morning. "Windows Vista" was first mentioned at a Microsoft sales conference in Atlanta, according to reports.
"I can't tell you what we will actually be sharing, but you will learn something new about “Longhorn," a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews.
Microsoft has also registered domains to go along with the newly christened Windows, including windowsvista.com. The domains were registered in late March, indicating the company made the decision even before WinHEC gave developers their first taste of Longhorn in over a year.
Windows Vista was initially reported by enthusiast site ActiveWin.
The word 'vista' defined means "pleasing view." According to a source, the name had been first floated about six months ago, although not much more had been said in the following months.
Sources tell BetaNews Microsoft is also rallying the troops -- MVPs and close partners -- to gear up for the Beta 1 release.
Longhorn, or Windows Vista, Beta 1 is expected to arrive as soon as next week, with Wednesday being mentioned as a possible date. Beta 2 is expected in early 2006, with the final next generation Windows release expected by the end of next year.
Also spotted on: antispywareoffensief.nl; zdnet.nl; tweakers.net; helpmij.nl and neowin.net